Almost 8 in 10 Millennials (ages 22-42) buy items online either weekly (35.8%) or monthly (42.8%), according to Roth MKM’s 2023 Millennial Survey. The most important reasons they purchase items online are consistent with 2 years ago – convenience, saving time, and saving money – but while pandemic concerns have receded, the importance of inventory has grown.
Indeed, more Millennials now say that key reasons for buying items online include hard-to-find products and a broader selection.
Here are some other takeaways from the report.
1. Millennials Are Allocating More of Their Discretionary Spend to Online Purchases
For this year’s report, almost half (48.7%) of Millennials said that they spent more than 40% of their discretionary spending online during the previous 12 months. That’s up from about one-third (35.2%) who said the same prior to COVID-19, in the 2020 survey edition.
There’s been a sizable bump in the share who directed more than 60% of their discretionary spending to online shopping, from 13.4% to 22.8%.
On a related note, about three-quarters say they have definitely (33%) or somewhat (42.9%) reduced their discretionary spending behavior due to higher prices for everyday/non-discretionary goods, and some 45% have started purchasing more private label goods in place of branded ones.
2. Entertainment & Media Leads for Online Shopping Comfort
Online grocery shopping has been growing in popularity, and had been the product category that Millennials were most comfortable purchasing online without first seeing in person for the 2021 survey, likely a result of the pandemic.
Fast forward to this year’s edition, and Entertainment & Media has vaulted to the top of the list, supplanting Groceries.
Other product categories that more than one-third of Millennials feel comfortable buying online without seeing in person include Pet Products, Adult Apparel, Consumer Electronics and Cosmetics.
By contrast, only 15% in this year’s report feel comfortable buying Home Goods & Housewares online without first seeing them in person, down from 42% in the 2021 edition of the report.
3. Most Millennials Regularly Browse for Items on Google Shopping
Amazon is a key source of shopping inspiration for Millennials, and 8 in 10 Millennials profess to sometimes (50.1%) or often (29.9%) bypassing search engines to search for products and information on Amazon.
At the same time, Google also features as a place to browse for items: a majority (54.7%) say they browse for items on Google Shopping at least once a week, including about 1 in 12 who do so daily.
This is much more prevalent than some social shopping options. For example, some 27.7% click Instagram’s “Shop Now” button at least once a week, while 23.5% use Instagram’s “Checkout on Instagram” feature with that frequency. Finally, about the same share (23.7%) claim to click on a shopping tag on Pinterest at least once a week.
About the Data: The results are based on a November 2022 survey of 2,500 US adults ages 22-42.